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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Smiling Calm Hearts Open Our Learning, Inc. (SCHOOL)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

Mission: We are committed to helping teachers create focused, harmonious classrooms where learning and positive relationships flourish.

Target demographics: Education requires more than thinking. To improve learning, we must address the physical, mental, emotional and social well-being of students. Equally important, we help teachers maintain health, composure and the joy of teaching.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 5,000 students and more than 200 teachers.

Geographic areas served: Los Angeles County public schools and reach classrooms nation-wide through our online SCHOOL Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training.

Programs: SCHOOL Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training either in-person or online for educators.

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Nancy Herran P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I teach third grade in an impoverished, gang dominated part of LA. My students often bully, are victims of bullying, suffer depression, anxiety, and live with trauma. Many are in foster care and have a hard time regulating their emotions and focusing enough in school, so they lag behind. I wanted to find a way to teach students a life long skill they could depend on no matter what their environment threw at them. Enter Smiling Calm Hearts❤️ I attended Ms. Kelly's workshop, began implementing yoga and mindful, focusing on calm brain, strong body, kind hearts. Eventually, Ms. Kelly and her awesome student teachers were able to provide five of our classrooms with weekly yoga lessons that progressed to students coming front and center and teaching poses to the group! Many of my students went home and taught their family members yoga, pursued more poses on YouTube, and experienced a change in focus and behavior that supported student learning in our classes. It was life changing, because even we teachers realized that our moods were deeply effected by our student's moods, and together we could reach deep and activate our compassion, patience, and kindness, allowing us to capture our students hearts and minds in ways that deepened and expanded learning opportunities. I am amazed at what we have learned and accomplished. If I could suggest one thing it would be to have this program funded in many more at risk schools. Come to think of it, not just at risk schools. All students and teachers need to access patience, compassion, mental focus, and the courage to calm their mood in the face of obstacles. If we all did this, just imagine! Thank you Smiling Calm Hearts! You are a treasure!❤️

Daniela G.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Kelly Wood is extraordinary!! She has created a crucial niche for the education system and is renowned for her resounding success in the field. Her total, selfless dedication to the cause throughout the many years that she has been teaching is legendary. Her warm heartedness is a boon to small children, who often come from troubled homes.
Every school throughout the land ought to have Kelly Wood as their trump card. There is no cloning her, however. She is utterly unique. Whoever is lucky enough to have her as their teacher is being schooled in life skills and compassion and will be able to better face the challenges that all too often beset one. She is a true gem!

Board Member

Rating: 5

SCHOOL, Inc. has positioned itself to fill and provide a much-needed element in the public school system -- teaching children valuable techniques and methods through yoga and meditation to use in their lives not only at school but in their homes. Through SCHOOL teachers in the school systems are trained to use yoga and meditation techniques in the classroom to better equip their children with positive techniques to learn and to solve problems in a calm, mindful and respectful way as opposed to reacting in often-times confrontational, argumentative and even physical behavior.

Kelly Wood, the founder and CEO of SCHOOL, Inc. is such a warm and caring role-model for not only the children, but the teachers who she trains. Her passion is infectious, the children love her and the teachers are noticing positive results in the classroom—children listen better, interact in a more positive way with each other, are more focused in their academics, among many other benefits. The children’s faces say it all! A wonderful, and GREAT nonprofit.

Donor

Rating: 5

Great program. Thoughtful and smart approach...providing kids with useful tools for everyday living. Mindfulness...cutting edge approach with modified age old traditions...a must have skill set for every kid and adult!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am impressed with the mind/body approach taught by SCHOOL, Inc. The skills children learn thru SCHOOL will not only impact their educational careers, but their life after school.

Vanessa Berti M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience as Kelly's student and becoming a kids yoga teacher has been life changing. I observed SCHOOL in the classrooms and was so Inspired by the impact it had on children and teachers. Elementary students were practicing mindfulness before mindfulness became "popular". The transformation I saw was kids learning to respect their bodies and honor their heart and mind all while cultivating acceptance and compassion! I would have never learned how to teach these skills to children in a playful, developmentally appropriate way if not for Kelly and this program. I'm honored to be a part of it.

Parind S.

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve seen the fundamentally positive transformation kids go through due to teachings of SCHOOL, first hand, with my daughter and also with one of the classes that this organization teaches. This program is as important as math, science (or more since it builds character) and should be part of every kids curriculum.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Kelly’s classes give students a fun and creative way to take a break from the routine of school. It is apparent that she truly cares about her students and wants to see each of them succeed. Her classes combine fun games and stories with positive thoughts of kindness, respect for others, and self-love. The SCHOOL program really should be implimented in every school in America.

Board Member

Rating: 5

SCHOOL is helpful as it trains teachers to encourage their students’ resilience and , mindfulness, generosity, pro-social skills, preparing their minds to learn by relaxing the body and suporting brain activity.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Kelly is an amazing instructor - so open-hearted and radiant. She has been dedicated to working with children and instructors for many years now. The way she communicates mindful concepts to children speaks to them in their language. Her classes are amazing!

David J.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Today’s students are dealing with many issues which make learning challenging, that’s why I decided to take Ms. Kelly’s class. The tools and techniques of mindfulness and caring that I learned worked wonders for my high school students. They learned calm breathing and practiced it before taking quizzes and exams. I too practiced calm breathing. My students and I have benefited from Ms. Kelly’s teaching.

Kathy G.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a newly retired school counselor, I looked into different programs I could take to learn how to teach yoga, mindfulness, and meditation to the elementary school population. Kelly had different options. I loved her philosophy. She offered exactly what I was looking for! I took the online class and got certified to teach. The instruction was easy to follow and packed
With information. Kelly is very knowledgeable and truly knows her stuff. I look forward to moving forward and sharing what I know with others! I highly recommend Kelly’s programs!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Seriously important work - the kids are so lucky to have Kelly sharing her talents with them!! She is a gifted yoga teacher, great with kids, and has a huge heart to be bringing the two together!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've had the pleasure of having Kelly work with my students for the past few years. I could never thank her enough for all the time and dedication that she invests in the well-being of students. Not only do the students benefit from the yoga exercises they participate in during her sessions; they also learn a lot from her stories about being patient and kind to others.

Donor

Rating: 5

Kelly is a calm, inspiring and loving mentor and leader of a yoga experience that bestows peace and harmony to inner city children in the classroom. Her happy heart shines light on all those she encounters.